Friday, November 18, 2005

Ready for the Next Disaster

Wal-Mart re-opens Mississippi store with new concept for emergencies

Wal-Mart has announced the grand opening of its new “Wal-Mart Express” on the site of its formerly damaged Supercenter in Waveland, Miss.

The new format will offer a merchandise mix solely focused on the unique needs of this community still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Operating recently as a “tent store” to provide basic needs for residents, the new store will open its doors Saturday, November 19, one of first businesses to officially “open” along the Gulf Coast Highway in Mississippi.

The 57,000-square-foot store is enclosed within the original 205,800-square-foot building by dust-proof, insulated walls. The merchandise mix will focus on essential items, in the quantities and sizes needed for this community, as they continue to rebuild from the storm.

Such items include: larger sized containers of paint and cleaning solutions, such as five-gallon tubs; expanded hardware and home improvement items such as tools and cleaning products; large household items and appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators and TVs; basic clothing items such as shirts, jeans, and shoes; frozen meat and packed food aisles and freezers, as well as dry food aisles; photo center (to accommodate the film-development needs of insurance adjusters and policy claimants); pharmacy; and cellular products and services and in-store kiosks for ordering larger items and quantities on-line, to be delivered to the store for pick-up or to a customer’s home.

“The new prototype store will allow us to respond to this community’s immediate needs,” said divisional senior vp Pam Kohn.

Wal-Mart plans to eventually return the Waveland store to a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the future.

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